Paul Merson has called on Arsene Wenger to go at the end of the season – or be removed by Stan Kroenke – but fears the American prefers Wenger at the helm of his ‘money-making exercise’.
Merson isn’t exactly known for his well thought-out conclusions and often generates conversation simply by talking nonsense.
But it’s hard to ignore that he’s hit on something many fans believe to be true – that Arsenal’s majority shareholder doesn’t actually care about winning trophies as long as the club continue to turn a profit by finishing in the top four.
“Arsene Wenger should go at the end of the season – the owner has to make a change,” Merson said.
“Of all the embarrassments Arsenal have had, this is the worst.
“It’s gone on long enough but Arsenal are just a money-making exercise for Stan Kroenke. He’s got other sports clubs. It’s just another franchise.
“The fans should be demanding more from him. I feel sorry for them. It’s milking the fans for profit. I don’t know how they put up with it.
“He needs to make a change. But he won’t because Arsene Wenger makes him too much money every year. It’s too easy for everyone. It’s a shambles.
“Nothing will happen unless Wenger wants it to. If he wants to stay, he’ll stay.
“Every year he gets them in the Champions League but they never look like winning it. They play a few games, make some money and then go out. What’s the point?
“Arsenal blew their big chance to replace him properly.
“They could have tried for Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti or Jurgen Klopp. There were four managers out there who could have taken the club forward and what did the owner do? He just sat there.
“Football is not just about making a tidy profit on transfers. I think he needs to show his face now and say it’s not good enough.
“But he has not shown any ambition since he’s been there.
“He’s always bought players no one else wants, not household names. Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are the only ones.
“Why haven’t they bought a Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a Gonzalo Higuain or a Karim Benzema? They won’t pay the money.
“Arsenal is run as a business first and a football club second. But where’s Calum Chambers now? Where’s Rob Holding? It’s not good enough.
“Sanchez is not staying. He wants to go and win stuff. He must be losing £80,000 a week by not signing but he’s not staying. No chance.
“Who knows with Ozil? I can’t see another big club paying the sort of money he wants for someone who doesn’t show up half the time.
“Where are the winners at Arsenal? The leaders? It’s too nice. How long has Theo Walcott been there, 10 years? They haven’t won a tap but he keeps on signing, because it’s nice.
“It’s a great club and they treat you well. Too well. It’s too comfortable. Nobody questions the manager. In my day, it would have been carnage in the dressing room.
“But Arsenal don’t have any leaders because Wenger doesn’t buy them. He doesn’t want people questioning him. It’s shambolic.
“The players are not good enough. I keep hearing about how mentally strong they are. They’re not. They are weak. And it’s because of the manager.
“They are just getting blown away. It’s atrocious. I don’t even think Bayern are that good.
“Arsenal are going backwards, and if they don’t finish in the top four this year it could be years before they’re challenging again.”